Best Semi-dwarfing Rootstock for Tart Cherries in clay, wet soil?

I talked to someone looking for a better semi-dwarf rootstock for tart cherries in clay, wet (i.e. slow draining) soil. He said he had tried MaxMa14 but had some compatibility issues.
How does Giisela 5 or Krymsk 6 do?
Thanks for your expertise.

Krymsk 5 and 6 rootstocks are susceptible to viruses. I keep grafting tart cherry scions from ARS-GRIN onto Krymsk, they take and then die.

1 Like

Wet soil, not good for fruit trees, ,particularly cherry.

I tagged @thecityman here. He is in TN and grows cherry trees. He could give you advice.

1 Like

Dwarf and semi-dwarf cherry rootstock is very hard to get. Really it’s almost impossible in small quantities. You’re really stuck with buying finished trees. I have tart cherries on Gisela 5 in fairly heavy silt loam or silt clayey loam depending on the depth below the tree. The soil cracks when it’s very dry and after heavy rains it’s mushy. The tart cherries do fine on Gisela 5. Raintree nursery sells trees on Gisela 5.
Krymsk 5 would be find for finished trees but you should avoid grafting scionwood onto it yourself. Nurseries use virus free certified scionwood. You might also try planting trees in high areas or raised beds/berms that helps.


I’ve had trouble with Krymsk 5 and sweet cherries. I was not aware that it was virus susceptible. I have a couple or three Mazzard suckers surfacing a few feet from my older sour cherry trees. Looks like the best bet is to dig them, graft on my sweets, and wait another few years for sweet cherries.

1 Like